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UMCOR Bright Spots

February 15, 2007

Red Arrow-giftDulac Recovers from Damage of Two Hurricanes
Red Arrow-giftPearlington Rebuilds With Help Coordinated By UMCOR Disaster Recovery
Red Arrow-giftThis Week's Quote
Red Arrow-giftRecovery Stats
Red Arrow-giftThey Literally Saved My Life (Slide Show)


By Susan J. Meister, Gulf Coast Communications

The residents of Dulac, about 75 miles southwest of New Orleans, suffered a double whammy in the 2005 hurricane season – the western edge winds of Katrina ruined roofs and the eastern edge high tides of Rita flooded everything.

Mr. Kerry's new home, with a spectacular wrap-around porch, overlooks the bayou in Dulac, La. Susan Meister/UMCOR

Mr. Kerry’s new home, with a spectacular wrap-around porch, overlooks the bayou in Dulac, La.
Susan Meister/UMCOR

Mr. Kerry’s home received a third blow – salt water from the flooding damaged his breaker box and six months after the hurricanes, his house burned. He has taken time off from his regular profession as a shrimper to rebuild his home. He made remarkable progress even though he’d never built a house before.

“I get depressed,” Mr. Kerry said, “because the house isn’t dried in. I spend two-thirds of my day just walking around wondering what I’ll do next.”

John Paul McGuire, the station manager at the disaster recovery sub-station at Dulac, helped Mr. Kerry with his next steps. “Volunteers helped him get the roof on and the exterior sheathing on all of the exterior walls,” McGuire explained. “Over the New Year weekend he and his friends and son installed the windows and doors. Our next volunteer team will be back to help with electrical and wiring.”

Louisiana Disaster Recovery Expands to Include Dulac

The Louisiana United Methodist Disaster Recovery Ministry has expanded its ministry to include Dulac and the surrounding community by establishing a formal presence at the Dulac Community Center, connected to the Abbeville Station. Amy Mercer, Director of Operations, noted that the sub-station builds on a long-standing ministry in this area of the Louisiana conference.

Mr. Kerry's home is raised 13’, with special strapping to protect the house in hurricane winds. Susan Meister/UMCOR

Mr. Kerry’s home is raised 13’, with special strapping to protect the house in hurricane winds.
Susan Meister/UMCOR

“There are layers of damage and need in that community and we will be there to sort through and meet what needs we can,” she said. “Because of the long history of the Dulac Community Center – we have an obvious outpost location. The Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) went ‘before us’ and is working in partnership with our conference to make sure that the needs of the Dulac community will be met – now and for years to come.”

The Dulac Community Center is one of 103 National Mission Institutions of GBGM of the UMC. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for residents of the area through education, empowerment and enhancing the living conditions of their homes. The area is very low income, populated mostly by Houma Indians.

A $385,992 grant from UMCOR will be used to expand the Community Center to house volunteers who come to the area to rebuild. More information on volunteer opportunities is available from McGuire or Alice Rothrock, Executive Director.

Station Manager Chronicles Rebuilding

McGuire, a native of Louisiana, came back to the state in November, 2006, after serving as UMVIM Coordinator for the California-Nevada Conference. He invites readers to his own web site to see photos of work in the Dulac community and hurricane-related pictures. Reference “The Dulac Page,” “Mes Amis!,” and “photo pages.” Mes Amis! is McGuire’s newsletter for the work he is involved within and around Dulac in Terrebonne and LaFourche Parishes of Louisiana.

The stations of the Louisiana United Methodist Disaster Recovery Ministry are helping families rebuild after the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. To volunteer or for more information, contact the Louisiana United Methodist Disaster Recovery Ministry.


Please pass this email on to your friends who aren't yet acquainted with UMCOR so they can learn about our long-term recovery work in partnership with the annual conferences of Mississippi and Louisiana.

For more on the United Methodist recovery work visit these web sites:
UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief)
UM News Service
Mississippi Conference
Louisiana Conference
Texas Conference
Alabama-West Florida Conference